With “You Will Go Away One Day But I Will Not,” Maria Thereza Alves and Lucrecia Dalt present a new commissioned work at the Botanic Garden Berlin that considers the Western practice of using Western scientific nomenclature to name plants worldwide. The audience is invited to walk through the tropical greenhouse wearing headphones that track each user’s movements to generate individualised binaural sonic experiences. Through this immersive installation in the tropical greenhouse, Alves and Dalt attempt to open a space for the multifarious voices of the forest—organic and inorganic, human and non-human, speculative and lived—while also pointing to their silencing and erasure by European colonists.
Having worked with the Guarani people of the Jaguapiru Reservation in Dourados in Mato Grosso do Sul in Brazil since 1980, Alves has been part of a conversation around practices of naming. Using rhythmically sequenced patterns from its many voices, Dalt composes a constantly-shifting sound piece inspired by the turbulent, unpredictable, multiplicitous nature of the forest. Through these explorations, the complexity of Guarani thought emerges, as does its relationality to other beings and their surroundings.
The work is presented within the framework of the “Natur. Nach Humboldt” initiative, celebrating the 250th anniversary of Alexander von Humboldt. It is commissioned by the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences and Humanities, the Botanic Garden & Botanical Museum Berlin, Die Junge Akademie, Deutschlandfunk Kultur, and CTM Festival, with spatial sound production from usomo | unique sonic moments.